Jul 25, 2022
4 minutes to read
With the 2022 Tour de France wrapped up and the 2023 race already in sight, it’s important to keep in mind all the people, processes, and technologies that are working behind the scenes to keep the wheels turning.
The Tour de France wrapped up last week, and it’s become more clear than ever before that competition is thriving and setting yourself up for success is a long process that starts at the beginning. But with the 2,000-mile race and the finish line in the rearview mirror, it’s a good time to reflect on the entire ecosystem of folks and organizations working behind the athletes to give them the right tools and equipment needed to win.
One such organization is AGU, a Dutch company that has been making cycle clothing since 1966. With over 25,000 products in both B2B and B2C eCommerce, AGU is a global leader in the cycling industry with strong brand awareness, and has been involved with the Tour de France since the early 90’s. In fact, this year, they embarked on a joint initiative with Team Jumbo-Visma to unveil the Masterpiece Ride-Up Shop, a mobile shop driven by a bicycle through the center of Copenhagen, the starting point of the Tour de France.
But where AGU excels in cycling wear and expertise, they struggled with a problem known all too well by organizations across the industry; creating a truly omnichannel business experience for both their B2B and B2C customers. Expanding into new markets and territories was an arduous, manual process that simply wasn’t scalable. Without a central repository of product information, AGU had no way of knowing if their product data was complete, consistent, or correct, let alone compelling. Despite their years of expertise and knowledge in the cycling industry, some consumers (specifically B2B consumers) didn’t know whether they could trust the information they were seeing about any given product on any given channel, meaning they were more hesitant to purchase.
A breakdown of trust between yourself and your customers is never what you want, so AGU set out to find a PIM solution that would help streamline their product information, regardless of the channel or region. With a focus on accelerating market launches in new territories, AGU wanted to enhance the product experience on their website and facilitate sales through new marketplaces in a scalable way.
And just as the Tour de France cyclists turn to the experts to provide them with the right bikes, helmets, and clothing to win the race, AGU wanted to partner with experts in the PIM space to ensure they were implementing the best technology and process. Enter Akeneo.
With enhanced processes in place to enrich more products, launch new channels and markets more efficiently, and collaborate with both internal and external teams, AGU’s online business in markets outside of the Netherlands outperformed their online business in their home market. They were able to successful launch on several big-name online retailers such as Amazon and bol.com (biggest online retailer in the Netherlands). Plus, the Akeneo PIM interface is simple enough to use that no technical training is required; so no matter who joins the AGU team or what their background is, they’ll be able to jump right in.
Perhaps most importantly, the customer experience for AGU consumers has vastly improved; with better attributes, more accurate data, improved filters, and up-to-date research on both the B2C and B2B sides, customers are no longer left guessing whether or not the product information they’re receiving is accurate and they’ve been able to restore that brand trust that they’ve held on to since 1966. Now a fully global company with locales across the world and a scalable process for adding new channels whenever they need to, AGU has been able to set themselves up for success regardless of where the future pedals them towards.
So with the 2022 Tour de France wrapped up and the 2023 race already in sight, it’s important to keep in mind all the people, processes, and technologies that are working behind the scenes to keep the wheels turning. AGU is able to continue equipping their cyclists with the best-in-class sportswear, with product information powered by Akeneo.
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